Island Discovery 3 | Campaign Diary: Archipelago Adventures - Pt. 13
Last week we discovered our beautiful island of Munta, and this week… well, we are going to hang out in Munta and figure out what exactly our adventurers are going to be up too here.
Oh Munta, I had forgotten what you looked like… is it possible for there too be a more perfect island? With such beautiful curves and lush forests, you make me blush- erm… I mean… I missed you Munta… heh…
So last week, we talked a bit about what we can expect on our islands and gave a bit more of an overview about what our adventurers might expect. This week, we are going to dive into this particular island, and hopefully there will be key points we can use on future islands.
What To Do Here
Now that our adventurers have landed on their island… what exactly are they to do on this small, moderately populated and fertile island designed for Tier 1 adventurers? Well, I think the obvious answer is… what ever we want. I am going to put fearie dragons on this island because its the first thing that hit my mind, and my Tuesday campaign is currently dealing with one. Her name’s Felicity.
So, we know what’s on this island, faerie dragons, what are they doing here? Well, looking at that swamp, I’m thinking they are probably busy at work making this island a really nice place to live, and may even dislike the swamp and are slowly using their magics to make everything feel like an idyllic forest… all to get other ships to stop by so they can pull a few pranks.
It’s great we know what is on this island… but that doesn’t answer the main question the table will have when they land here. What are we doing here? That answer should become quite clear soon after landing on the island, and I think we can bring this back around to the main story arc for this adventure.
11 weeks ago, I talked about the story arc for this campaign. Hobgoblins and goblins attack Nepu-Nepu (so good, they named it twice) and took off carrying prisoners, treasure and supplies. The party is sent/hired by the King to go get those people back and so the party, maybe unwillingly, enters the uncharted archipelago.
What if those goblinoids are setting up outposts on all those islands in the archipelago? I think this is a great way to tie into the main story, and gives us plenty for our characters to do for a session or two. Clear this island out of any goblinoids who are attacking the faerie dragons!
Setting the Scene
Let’s assume our party arrives at the island, and see beautiful sandy beaches, a beautiful forest, a gross swamp and mountain cliffs that surround the island. Furthermore, they see that there is a goblinoid outpost on the northern mountainous cliffs and a small village of goblins on the beach. Upon getting closer to the island, they can see even clearer that the goblins have ramshackle buildings and what looks like a captured fearie dragon in bird cages.
This immediately brings the characters into action, and they get a chance to storm the beach (if they want) and take out a few goblins. Now, the characters are in a pretty big ship, so the goblin outpost in the northern reaches of the island can probably see their ship, they may send a war party at the characters, and the characters get a chance to free a fearie dragon!
Upon freeing the fearie dragon, it will probably help them anyway it can and bring them deep into the forest of the island to the rest of its kind. The population of fearie dragons can treat with the characters to help them clear out the goblins from the island, and the characters get to be badasses clearing out this goblinoid menace.
Conflict is going to be one of the main motivators for our party. If an island has no conflict, there isn’t much for them to do there and that means there isn’t much reason to stay. Sure it’s nice to take in the sights and explore the island, but players want to feel like they are accomplishing something with their game night, and by busting a few goblinoid heads… we can accomplish that.
Now, this isn’t too say that every island must have as clear cut a conflict that Munta has. Some islands may just be a nice trading outpost that the players can restock supplies and buy new weapons at, though there can still be hidden conflicts on that island… but it’ll be up to the players to search that out. For our first island in this blog, I am quite happy having a more obvious conflict going on.
Which brings us to the fearie dragons and the goblins. It is pretty easy to see why these two creatures might have some conflict, fearie dragons are chaotic good and love lightheartedly messing with creatures… goblins are neutral evil and love killing things and being bullies. It’s pretty easy to see where they might bump heads.
For future DMs who might be running this, there should be some sort of paragraph or section that they can read inside of 10 seconds to determine what this island is all about. Part of this series is all about random islands popping up without notice, this means that we need to arm our future DMs with as much information as possible. A good descriptor for this island might look like:
Munta, home to fearie dragons, is currently being set up as an outpost for goblinoid interests. This small island’s population of fearie dragons are fighting against the goblins and adventurers can expect to help the fearie dragons drive off the goblin threat.
The next bit of information that DMs will need is a map of the island, with a few key points on the island, as well as a some information about what might happen if the adventurers help or don’t help out on this island.
The fate of Munta’s happiness is in the hands of the adventurers. If the adventurers stay and aid the fearie dragons, they will be able to use this island as a safe location and help put a stop to the goblin forces. This will allow the fearie dragon’s to continue their idyllic life before the goblins arrived and they may even share information about other nearby islands!
If the party decides to leave before helping out the fearie dragons, this small, goblin outpost will grow bigger and bigger and it will eventually kill or drive off all the fearie dragons from the island. This will cause the forest to turn to a dried out husk of its former self, and the swamp to fully take over the island.
And now for that map of the island and the key points!
1. Goblin Stronghold; This stronghold holds 10 goblins and a goblin boss.
2. Fearie Dragons’ Home; This location in the forest is home to the 3d6 fearie dragons who are morphing this island into an idyllic place.
3. Goblin Outpost; This outpost holds 6 goblins. They will attempt to flee to the Stronghold if they are attacked.
4. The Swamp; This island is currently home to crocodiles and are more than happy to eat fearie dragon, goblins or adventurers.
After our brief snapshots of information for the DM, we can start diving into a bit more of the nitty-gritty and give a better overview of the island. We are also going to have to draw a few small maps of the goblin outpost and stronghold so that our DMs have something to work with, which shouldn’t be too hard… but we are going to work on that next week!
In the mean time, we should be thinking more about what our DM might need out of an island and how we can present this in a concise way. I can already imagine that they’ll need a quick way to understand the resources of an island, what creatures can be found here and the environment. While we think more on that, let’s go ahead and get on this week’s random encounter!
A stowaway has been found on board the ship. This stowaway is from one of your recent island visits and has been hiding in the food stores.
1. The stowaway is a small child, no older than 7 years old and wishes to become a sailor like their father. The child is currently terrified that they are in trouble with their parents when they are discovered.
2. The stowaway is a young teenager, no older than 15 years old. They are hoping to kill a goblin and impress their friends. They are angry that they are found, but quickly relaxes if they don’t feel like they are being threatened by the party.
3. The stowaway is a young adult who is escaping justice from the island. They swear it wasn’t their fault that the shop was robbed, even though they were the only ones there.
4. The stowaway is a goblin spy who is trying to find a way to sink the ship without killing them self. They might be convinced to switch sides and help out the party, though the goblin remembers any threats or abuse against it by the party.