Hello all, these threads will be for session planning. You can laugh about how none of it happened in the game itself and maybe follow along with a bit of insight into what is among my notes. If you'd like, you can pop your own ideas in here too.
***if you are a player in ironblood dwarves don't read these threads, there will be information here that doesn't make it to prime time, destroys deliberate ambiguity, makes decisions trivial, kills tension, places you at an unfair advantage over the other PCS, etc. Do not smirk and keep scrolling because you're a great roleplayer and you're curious but you won't reeeeeallly let this change the game, this is one of my bare few requests as the guy putting in the hours to run this!***
Ok, so the dwarves have gotten out of the hellfire pit and into their fresh-ish ruined old dwarfhold. In conversations between games they've told me they want to get a farm up and running and the mines operating once again. They need some skilled labor and supplies they don't have, though, so this is what I'm planning.
They've requested that they be within reasonable travel distance of a large city. I'll use the same city that had the dwarf slums I mentioned at the beginning of game two, and make those slums an element of their present quandry. They'll be able to find a bunch of dwarves who would be happy to walk off with them (but do they want the sick/old/children/unskilled!?)
The human government would be just fine with a bunch of dirty dwarves going away forever (the local patrol captains dislike the dwarves, and the real powers in the government don't even know they exist) BUT the thieves guild is shaking down some of the dwarves for their skills and money and doesn't want them to leave. They've been intimidated into cooperating with the thieves guild, so the players will have to find some way to get the dwarves they need under the thumb of the thieves guild (and perhaps the other dwarves/non-dwarves they don't need, but who insist that they won't leave without). I don't think I need to script too much of a pre-built "adventure" into this process as I'm sure that with these players they will have a dozen violent ideas about how to raid the guildhall or threaten the leader or kidnap someone or bring the whole city guard down on them, etc etc etc.
I don't know if I want to make a travel encounter on the way down. I don't want a filler combat just to kill the time that a filler combat takes, but I also don't want it to be totally safe for them to travel the wild country at will. Maybe I'll outsource this decision to a random encounter table.
Lingering Concerns: Doing this without making the demons or the big-bad white dragon a present threat might be one too many pulls in the villain-directions. Maybe I'll make some of the thieves guild members of the Thrak'Ghaash cult, or maybe the whole thing? Maybe they'll encounter the cult in the dwarf slum, suggesting that it wasn't just targeting the Iron Mountain? This raises the bigger question of whether this campaign needs or wants One Big Bad or if they really are more interested in digging out rooms and making a big, safe, prosperous home for their people (the pitch of this campaign, and the experience it gives them that most campaigns do not) than they are in killing D&D Bad Guy #782 (using this guy is, rightly, a rule of D&D GMing, but I want them to be more optional in this game than usual. This game is unusual in relation to my usual Bad Guy Timeline plotting because the worst of the Bad Guy Timeline happened in the first game, and if they would rather form a good new home then crusade to bring back the old one, the Big Bad who torched Iron Mountain isn't what their world revolves around).