**NOTE**: Due to the title "Uninvited Guests" being shared with an Adventurer's League product (DDAL05-03, during the Storm King's Thunder season), this title will most definitely change. This product is not related to the AL release in any way, shape or form.
Venril's yearly gala - a gathering of the city's most elite - should go without a hitch if the hired help keeps things running smoothly.
Unfortunately for him, you're the hired help...
Uninvited Guests is a short, one-shot social adventure for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (published through the 5E OGL) and for Pathfinder (published through the Pathfinder OGL). It is technically for any level (although it might be hard to explain why a high level party would be in such a situation) and is designed to be run in a single session.
This adventure is qualified as a "social" adventure in that it involves more social interactions with NPCs, resolved through skill checks and saving throws, rather than actual combat. There is at least one, possibly two, potential encounters... but they're designed to be resolved quickly even by 1st level party standards.
The adventure is not meant to be lethal, and unless players screw up really badly you shouldn't be expecting any party members to die. There is a strong possibility they might get arrested, but death shouldn't be a consideration unless the players will it to happen. The encounters are in controlled environment with plenty of healing available; after all, it would be really bad form to have guests and staff dying every time you throw a party, right?
And, by design, this adventure does something a bit different to make things interesting: it requires to briefly split the party. But, since it's not combat heavy, everything should be fine... right? It's a party... what could go wrong?
The party is tasked with retrieving an item in the possession of Venril, a prominent local noble that lives on a lavish estate at the edge of town. The item has to be retrieved today, which is a problem because tonight is the night of Venril's yearly gala where he invites all the nobles of the city to one big party at his lavish estate.
So the players have to go in undercover as event organizers provided by the equivalent of a local staffing agency. They are purposely put in to awkward situations where they must adapt to what's asked of them without arousing suspicion, all the time trying to determine where the item they seek is located, how to get it without causing a scene, and leaving without getting arrested. And doing all that preferably without having to kill anyone.
Sounds simple, right?
It's not written yet, but by all accounts it shouldn't be very long; I'm predicting at most 10 pages.
There will be at least two monsters with full stat blocks. Beyond that, all the other NPCs in the party will be provided with simplified stat blocks meant to be used only to resolve social situations and opposed skill checks.
And there's no real BBEG ("Big Bad Evil Guy"), although there's one possible adversary that... well... if it comes to that, having a stat block or not won't really matter.
The adventure is designed to be setting agnostic, and can be dropped in to any rural setting where nobles would have lavish mansions at the edge of town.
The Adventure's History
The adventure is designed to be tailored for the party; certain characters will be given tasks that they may or may not be familiar with. The point is that the characters have to react to the adversity imposed on them without arousing suspicion, and even though they may be separated from time to time they must try to work together to reach a common goal.
I ran this adventure for my office D&D 5th Edition group and it went spectacularly. Quite frankly, it was fun as hell. I've given some thought as to how to make this a publishable product, the difficult part being how open-ended it can be, but I think I can make it work.
The 5E version of the adventure is currently about 20% complete, but most of it is formulated in my head and just needs to be put to paper. Since it's not the typical adventure, documenting this has been somewhat of a challenge, but it's moving along more or less. The expectation is that the "beta" of the product should be close to done by the time this Kickstarter ends, but don't quote me on that; the real expectation is the the adventure will be completed, edited and ready for release by early to mid January.
The adventure will be written and published regardless of how this Kickstarter ends up doing, but I wanted to use this Kickstarter to help fund at least the editing of the end product. I've gotten to the point where I'm self-conscious about publishing anything that isn't properly edited, and I don't trust my own writing that much (no writer ever should), so i at least want to do that before the product sees the light of day.
As it stands right now, beyond an architectural map of the estate (which I can do myself), there is no art planned for the adventure at the goal amount provided. Stretch goals will allow for more art to be included, but if it funds at the very minimum you'll get the adventure in a runnable state.
Because it's mostly a social adventure and has little dependency on mechanics, I have decided to publish it for both D&D 5th Edition and Pathfinder; the only thing that will change between the two are a few stat blocks and which skill check is referenced. It could also theoretically be used in any other system with little modification.
If this product is successful, I expect to do more of these types of Kickstarters in the near future.
The product will be published using the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition and Pathfinder OGLs and distributed through DriveThruRPG.
Because the product is rather small and, short of a successful stretch goal, doesn't have cover art... we're not entirely sure if a print version will be available or not. If there is, it will be provided through DriveThruRPG's "print on demand" service, and a link to acquire the product at the cost of printing and shipping will be provided to all backers at the $12 VIP level or higher.
We haven't officially decided on stretch goals yet, but one of the things I'd like to do is art. If this Kickstarter does smashingly well early, stretch goals may not be needed. Let's face it, this isn't a big project in the first place.
Who Am I?
I have had two successful 5th Edition Kickstarters in the past:
- The Coming Dark, Chapter One: Into the Light, the first part in a series I hope to complete in the very near future.
- The 5E conversion of the 2013 ENnie-nominated "challenge" adventure A Night in Seyvoth Manor.
I also have several products on both the DM's Guild and on DriveThruRPG.
Risks and challenges
Full disclosure here... This Kickstarter is an experiment. I wanted to see how it would work to create a Kickstarter with a very low goal and a very short run time. I've seen many other publishers try this with spectacular results (over time, as they increase their customer base), so if this goes well, I will do this much more often.
The adventure will be written and published, but as usual I want to make it as good as it can be. As stated above, this Kickstarter will fund the editing mainly, and art if it does better than expected.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)