I have done it. I’ve given in to the madness and just let my players run amok in my world doing as they will. You know what, though, it was actually quite brilliantly fun. I enjoyed it a lot and I think the players did to.
I did realize I really need to work on descriptions I give to my players. I think part of it is I just need to take more notes and have some stuff ready but I pretty much failed at conveying that the army camp they were going to was a big ass army base.
I did this session by the seat of my pants. My only planned item was for them to find the small camp at the beginning of the session. From there I just played by ear. We had fun but it was a lot of work and I’d like to cut it down to where I don’t have to scramble for things for them to do.
When last we had left our heroes they had just reached the boarder to Milana. They decided that the missing boy and his family had followed the river North and then cut East to Queen’s Portal. Here we picked up with the guys crossing a toll bridge to get on the Eastern side of the river and then head out from there.
They spot some smoke in the distance and the cleric tries to get his pet raven to go ahead. It does fly ahead but does not come back for over half an hour. Most of the group waited, the Paladin, however treks on. She discovers a grizzly scene. A camp with six dead bodies in it.
Five of the bodies were humans, three had their throats slit. All five had been stripped down to their underwear, but their armor had been tossed aside. The sixth was a changeling wearing leather armor with no marking or identification of who he was or which country he’d come from.
They look around camp and find some money in a pouch, a lot of shovels and pickaxes and wagon tracks leading North. There were lots of boot prints around the camp and leading away both North and South.
After the PCs bury the dead they camp there for the night and get attacked by a small pride of lions. Because it’s a savannah they’re on, that’s why. In the morning they pack up and leave heading North following the cart tracks.
They make it to an Army Base. They’re asked if they’re enlisting and learn that Milana and Jinash have just declared war on each other. The officers eyeball the changelings in the group and the Paladin signs for them, making them her responsibility. They sell off all of the gear they’ve gotten from adventuring so far, as they’ve looted a band of orcs, a band of goblins and the camp they just came from.
The paladin then decides they should go to the Cantina to try and find out more about this war. The PCs walk in and the place goes silent, everyone is looking at the two changelings in the party. One, the mage, is suitably terrified and tries not to catch anyone’s eye. Not so, the rogue. The rogue assuming that since he is spoken for he cannot be touched is smiling at everyone, and oogling the women folk.
A drunken soldier gets up and gets in his face, throwing a punch. He misses but the barbarian perks up and punches the guy. A brawl breaks out and several things happen in quick order, the Paladin, cleric and mage run for the MPs and the mage drops obscuring mist.
The brawl rages on through the mist filled tent and eventually the rogue decides to get the hell out of dodge. The Paladin finds the MPs but they’re content to let the men fight it out and pick up and punish the pieces later. And the barbarian keeps fighting until he drops.
The paladin takes the barbarian away with the rest of the group who stop a mile or so away from the base. She then goes back with cleric in tow to find out more information about the war. She gets a list of bountied persons and tried her hardest to enlist the group, but was told to hold off by the cleric.
They returned to the rest of the party and we ended with them arguing about if they should join the army or not and why.
In the end I decided that It’s going to be okay that they veered off of what I had imagined for this campaign. I have the advantage of knowing the world. I’m just going to keep following where they lead because it might be somewhere awesome and that I have never expected.