The Cactus Coven
The Cactus Coven is an experiment of mine in creating a smart, funny, and challenging adventure using the new D&D4E rules. My plan is for this adventure to be as multi-linear as possible, in order to let players freely choose how they interact with the world as well as not to mire anyone in a DM’s incredibly contrived script for any scene or event. Like any good RPG, the story in this campaign will progress due to what I will call “key events”.
By choice or by chance, players will be confronted at many points with events that will open up new branches of the campaign and often advance the overarching story. This could be as simple as walking into a certain area of the landscape and encountering ( ) or diplomatic choices in conversation with certain NPCs. Either way, there will be enough possible conclusions to each key event based on character choices/chance that players will rarely be stuck with a “bad choice”. These events will not be used to shepherd players toward that one last dungeon, but careful thinking might make their lives easier (or their deaths harder).
This adventure is set in the vast desert lands of Nariz. There is no real power uniting the various territories within Nariz, but there are a sampling of local power structures that control their own little handfuls of desirable land. Players can expect to encounter tribal leaders, cultists, monks, shepherds, drunks, town magistrates and a menacing menagerie of mangling monsters. Nariz is full of its own natural hazards as well; swirling sandtraps, desert cyclones, and shimmering mirages have led many less clever adventurers to get a free bone whitening treatment, care of the desert sun and plentiful vultures. More will be revealed in time.