Home » The Social Contract
The Social Contract
Submitted by Jem on Tue, 2007-07-24 01:00
This adventure hook can be played at two levels, with varying amounts of control afforded the PCs.
- A low-level group with some individuals associated with mercantile interests, or some lawful or good organization, may be simply hired on or ordered to support the mission. For them this adventure will mostly be responding to events.
- A mid-to-high-level group of well-reputed planewalkers may be in charge of the mission. In either case, the group should lack chaotic or evil members. The sequence of events will last several months, the bulk of which will pass quickly between a mix of social and combat scenes.
- Setting up shop will initially consist of picking a spot and building a storefront, camping out until simple barracks can be constructed. PCs can role-play interaction with the townsfolk - mostly a poor, thuggish, nasty bunch for materials and labor, trying to win hearts and minds. Particularly effective search will turn over a few locals who haven't sold out to the fiends, desperate for a chance to get out of town.
- The company will be subjected to demands for bribes to the Hounds, the human/tanar'ri crossbreeds that form the local militia, followed by a more genteel but firmer insistence on kickbacks of a percentage of the profits to the Arch-Lector. The merchants behind the venture have long viewed these as a cost of doing business, but the philosophic backers will both object on principle and point out that such practices speed the town's slide. Still, refusing will bring overt attack the PCs will have to deal with. The GM should design an attack force of challenge rating suitable for the entire company's staff, and let the PCs do their part.
- The place is going to be the target of multiple, and progressively more challenging, theft attempts by all manner of locals. These will be both covert, sneaking rogues, and overt, screaming gang of humans and fiends hoping to smash and grab, attempts. High-level PCs may enjoy designing defenses on a budget, and then working them against the GM's attacks. Low-level PCs should simply be on the scene when it's time to mix it up.
- Since the arc lasts several months, additional adventures set in or near Plague-Mort, especially on the Outlands and the Plain of Infinite Portals, can be run around the PCs' "dayjobs" during this time. Fiends roam the town and prey on the locals, making opportunities to intervene -- but the characters should be warned that killing a promoted fiend if they survive the attempt will requite personal vengeance against the insolents... maybe. Intervening in local-vs-local disputes may turn out better for all involved, if the PCs can navigate the local currents of petty and violent strife.