Belluna Session Plans: Spiders, Man
So, if you’ve been reading along, you’ll know that my solo 4e D&D game, Belluna Serenissima, has gone off the rails in its single session. Thanks to some dismal die rolls and the subsequent spectacular failure of my protagonist to hold his own against enemies whose job it is to blow their own faces off when he thinks ill of them, my rough campaign sketch is no longer valid.
Big deal. I can handle this. I’ve written my way out of worse.
With that said, I plan to accomplish this by giving a sooner-than-anticipated reveal to one of the campaign’s string-pullers. Fra Otto Piedini — “Brother Eight-Feet” — wasn’t supposed to show his face until three or four sessions in, once Deo managed to heist the bones from Tiempo Mattutino and slowly became aware of what he had done.
Shifting on the fly, I’ve decided that, having been mopped up by the temple guards under Tiempo Mattutino, Deo’s been trussed up and handed over to Otto, who wants details. Deo knows he’s done for if he doesn’t rat, but that the La Roccas will never accept him if he does rat. So he rats.
He’ll try to squirm out of that one later.
For the time being, though, Fra Otto decides to play along with Sebastias Pizzico’s plan. He offers to turn Deo loose with false bones, and to make a big show of having his temple plundered, to flush out whatever greater entity has chosen (so foolishly…) to hire Deo to steal the bones. For the present, Deo will look like he’s made good on his shady La Rocca contract, Otto can keep his eye on the development, and the La Roccas can plan their next move.
(Originally, I had planned for Deo to succeed and meet the La Rocca associate before Fra Otto, but Deo’s failure tells me I have to switch the chronology here.)
For the challenges Deo’s going to face in this episode of Belluna Serenissima, I want spiders. (“Brother Eight-Feet,” get it?) Given that Deo’s been unable to manage minions thus far, and that the lowest-level spider in the Monster Manual is the level-four deathjump spider, I need to do a little reskinning. I decide against lowering the level of the spider as printed, as I’m worried that its special abilities might outmatch this lone and hapless ranger. The bonus damage, superior mobility, and high initial damage dice steer me away.
Instead, I flip the page and see the lowly stirge. With a special ability easily mapped to what I want to accomplish with my spider, I simply put a spider mask on the stirge and decide that its bite attack with ongoing damage comes from clicking chelicerae and dripping pedipalps. Voila, a spider. Or several….
I hope to play the actual scenario tonight. Will update with updates, as appropriate.