Using 5th Edition Spells
Adventure Recipe Using 5th spells as inspiration
Ready in 60 minutes
Serves 2-4 players
Level 6 Appropriate
Secret Inspirational Ingredient! Before beginning, select any 5th edition spell to begin your inspiration. For this recipe, I chose arcane hand.
A Villain for player level
A Target the villain threatens
Action Zero (instructions below)
Your Secret Ingredient!
Final Showdown Location
The long arm of the Law
Choose a villain. Let’s choose a helmed horror named Vigilant working for a cambion baron of a dark land. It’s purpose - to seek and destroy.
Choose a target. Let’s pick the sojourners! For one reason or another, they are the most wanted list in this devilish landscape.
Action Zero: This is the villain’s initial action that sets off the adventure. In this case, Vigilant arrives at the local tavern and posts wanted signs with the sojourners’ aliases and faces.
Secret ingredient! Browse through your favorite 5th edition book and choose a spell. This spell shows the way in which the villain accomplishes their mission. For this example, I chose arcane hand. Using this as inspiration, I decide the villain does everything within their power to track down and kill the sojourners for their crimes committed. It does this using a powerful weapon that can cast arcane hand at will. Anyone who Vigilant deems worthy can cast arcane hand upon the sojourner for the purpose of apprehending them as long as they have the components of eggshells and snakeskins lying around. Consider designing a lawful evil society where even good deeds go punished. Evil!
Next, establish the main goal for the sojourners. Also, set up the 3 step villain plan. These are the events that will occur for the villain to reach their goals. Finally, develop 3 steps for the sojourners that will guide them to defeat the villain and accomplish their own goal.
The sojourners desire to survive the death the hand brings and end up successful, giving them a chance to change their luck.
Take turns between villain and player to unfold the story until you finalize in your showdown location.
Action Zero occurs.
The sojourners must leave their various factions and arrive at a common bond to escape society.
Vigilant begins to pressure society to turn in the sojourners, which causes those the sojourners trusted to potentially turn them in to the police.
The sojourners must ally with an underground organization and perform tasks for them to prove their loyalty, may involve stealing items, heists, assassination. Each digs them deeper into crime, but leads them to escape.
Vigilant pressures the sojourners by sending hunters into the underground ring, providing a challenging skirmish and further bonding the sojourners to the underground gangs.
The sojourners must collect an important piece of machinery to power an escape vehicle out of the city once and for all.
Vigilant takes no prisoners now. Wanted dead or alive, it spies, conspires and plans to lie in wait for the sojourners to make their escape. Then it attacks.
The sojourners must manage to escape the city using their vehicle, while Vigilant provides opposition at every turn. The sojourners escape, powering their getaway vehicle or suffering a bloody death at the hands of vigilance.
When all of the above is ready, choose your final showdown location. In this case, we should use the train station on the outskirts of town.
Synopsis: The sojourners gather together to leave their various factions and join each other as they hide from Vigilant, a helmed horror that wants them in custody. Soon enough, the whole city is against the sojourners and their only means of escape is to sink themselves deeper in crime. Will they power their way out of the reach of the law, or will vigilance finally end their chase in a bloody finish?
Table Master Tips
With each action the player makes for their sojourners, make your best attempt to connect that decision to the larger story you are telling.
Establish the sojourners into the world by linking them to other people, places and things.
As a table master, inform the players of the what, who, where and when, but let them decide the how and the why through their sojourners actions.
For this simple approach to developing adventures, browse your list of 5th edition spells for inspiration for the actions of your evil villain. You might choose Mental Prison, Polymorph, or Contagion. Don’t worry about the statistics for how the spell works so much as concerning yourself with inspiration on how the villain accomplishes their goals.
Fill in the blanks with your own ingredients, gather your players together and may your story continue!