Hoard of the Dragon Queen Campaign Using Mythic GM Emulator

This is a journal for my current Hoard of the Dragon Queen campaign.

You will find that it is divided into many different scenes and each scene gives you a brief summary of what happened when I used the Mythic Game Master Emulator to play Hoard of the Dragon Queen as a solo adventure.

You will also find spoiler boxes containing ‘Mythic Questions’, which are basically yes or no questions I ‘asked’ Mythic. Clicking on the spoiler boxes will reveal the results of the checks that I made and the interpretations of these results, so you can get an idea of how the GM Emulator works.

For those of you who are already familiar with the Mythic Game Master Emulator, feel free to critique the campaign and comment on what I did well or what you feel didn’t go quite so well.

The purpose of this article is not to show off my campaign, storytelling or roleplaying skills (or lack of). Instead, this as a demonstration of what can be achieved using Mythic’s Game Master Emulator and running it alongside my Hoard of the Dragon campaign.

Hopefully, the main takeaway from this is that you can see that it is possible to make changes to a campaign or adventure on the fly, and thus maintaining that sense of surprise as though there is a real life dungeon master behind the screen.

At the time of writing this journal, I am on Chapter 4 of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure. This is a very roleplay-heavy chapter, with a lot of interaction between key NPCs and making preparations for a journey to the North.

Scene: Meeting Up With Ontharr

Scene Setup: The PCs have reached Elturel and will meet up with Ontharr to report their progress. Hopefully, Eosin will be there too.

Chaos Rank: 1

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The heroes have reached Elturel and their priority is to meet Ontharr Frume in order to report their findings and update him on what they have managed to find out about the cult of the dragon.

Mythic Question: Is Ontharr Frume present?

Chaos Rank: 1 (everything had been going extremely well up to this point)

Estimated Odds: Has to Be (80%)

Roll: 89

Result: Ontharr is not present in Elturel.

Mythic Question: Does any of his servants know where he has gone?

Estimated Odds: Somewhat Likely (25%)

Roll: 96

Result: Even his squire does not have a clue where Ontharr is.

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It turns out that, for reasons unknown, that Ontharr has left the city. Even his squire doesn’t know where he has gone.

Cue a frantic search for the paladin.

The trouble was that the party were a little too thorough in their explorations of the cave at the cultist camp and spent much time in Greenest, training and buying supplies.

It is because of this that Ontharr Frume had decided to leave and look for other allies who may be a little more responsible than the PCs.

Scene: A New Ally

Scene Setup: The PCs decide to see if the cult is present in Elturel. As they investigate, they meet someone who claims he can help them get closer to their quarry.

Chaos Rank: 2

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Dragonborn Fighter

Looks like he’ll fit right in, then…
Artwork © By Will Owen

The PCs’ next best course of action was to see if there are any signs of the cult in the city they are staying and sure enough, they find that some cultists are present in Elturel.

Mythic Question: Is there any sign of the cult in this city?

Chaos Rank: 2

Estimated Odds: Somewhat Likely (20%) (One of the wagons were delayed en-route to Baldur’s Gate, so they needed to take a short cut from Elturel to Baldur’s Gate)

Roll: 11

Result: Yes, plus random event.

Random Event

Event Focus Roll (1d100): 31 = Introduce New NPC.

Logical Interpretation: Unsure

Mythic Question: Can we trust him?

Result: No.

Mythic Question: Does he mean us harm?

Result: No – at least not directly…

Mythic Question: Does he plan to betray us?

Result: Yes…

Mythic Question: Is he evil?

Result:Answer: Yes.

Logical Interpretation: We meet an NPC who is genuine in his desire to help us… but only up to a point.

Note: I neglected to note down the die rolls and the event meanings. I also started using Mythic even though I was only halfway through the book, so some important steps were missed out.

In hindsight, I probably should have left most of these questions until later, rather than ask all and sundry about the NPC before I even started using him. That way, I won’t quite know what to expect from the character and whether he has ulterior motives.

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It seems they were delayed somehow and are some distance behind the rest of the cultists, so they decided to save time by taking a ship to Baldur’s Gate from Elturel.

Just as the PCs are figuring out what to do next, an arrow embeds itself on a wall near Peren, the wood elf paladin.

The heroes spot a hooded figure disappear into the alleyway on the opposite side of the street and they give chase.

When they catch up to him, the stranger holds up his hand, requesting that they stay their swords. The stranger pulls his hood back, revealing a draconic head.

This strange creature introduces himself as Bumeshuu, a dragonborn ranger who believes that their goals are aligned.

Bumeshuu tells the PCs that he is aware of their brave deeds in Greenest and he would like to work with them. The PCs want to stop the Cult of the Dragon – and so does Bumeshuu.

He offers to aid the PCs in their efforts to track the cargo that the cult is ferrying up north. His plan is to get the PCs onto a ship to Baldur’s Gate, but not before the cultists leave on an earlier ship.

Since Bumeshuu is unknown to the cult, he will travel with the cultists and observe their movements, so that when the PCs arrive at Baldur’s Gate, he will update them as to where the cult is at and possibly what they plan to do next – if he can get close enough to the cult to find out.

His reasons for opposing the cultists are convincing, as well as how he was able to find out so much about the PCs.

That night at the port, Bumeshuu shows the PCs the ship that he has chartered for them. His own ship is set to leave soon and that’s where the cultists will be as well. The cultists had with them a wagon, which the PCs assume carries some loot taken during their raids.

So the PCs board the ship and make preparations for the next day before going to bed.

Scene: Assassination!

Scene Setup: Assassins attempt to take the PCs’ lives while they sleep.

Chaos Rank: 3

Roll to modify (1d10): 1 = Altered Scene

Alteration: The assassins make too much noise outside their rooms and the PCs wake up as a result. They now have the chance to surprise the assassins, rather than the other way round.

(note: there were certain steps I neglected to follow, partly because I had only read the Mythic rules halfway through before diving in. From this point, the scenes are set up properly with a roll to determine whether the scene changes or remains the same).

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Behind you... Artwork © By Devon Cady-Lee

The closest I’ll ever get to a beautiful woman…
Artwork © By Devon Cady-Lee

Little did the PCs know that the cultists are not actually on the same ship as Bumeshuu, but are with the PCs on the same ship.

Bumeshuu tipped the heroes off to the cultists, who have staged an ambush.

They have hauled their cargo onto the ship, in order that they might hide the corpses and take them to their leaders as proof that they have been dealt with.

The cultists put their plan into action that night, when the heroes are asleep.

However, the adventurers wake up when one of the cultists accidentally makes noise outside the rooms that they are staying in.

Each PC attempts to hide and equip themselves. Some manage to arm themselves successfully in time and hide, while others fail at one or the other. Or even both.

Shui and Natali both walk this fight, since neither require armour to be effective in battle. However, Peren and Drusilia both fall.

Drusilia manages to stabilise on her own as Shui and Natali both come to her aid, but unfortunately, Peren is killed.

So after all that madness, we are a man down.

My characters got a little carried away in fighting the assassins that they forgot to keep at least one of them alive for questioning. The barbarian kills her opponents by default and is difficult to persuade her to do otherwise, especially once she has worked herself into a frenzy.

The next best thing is to see if any of the assassins carried with them any correspondence revealing who was behind the attempt on the heroes’ lives…

Mythic Question: Do the attackers carry any correspondence that might reveal who was behind the assassination attempt?

Chaos Rank: 3

Odds: Somewhat Likely (45%)

Roll: 16

Result: Yes. One of the higher ranking members of this group of cultists carry a letter from someone the PCs have met just recently…

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After rummaging through the cultists’ pockets, they find a letter from Bumeshuu that helps to identify the PCs (who were in disguise) and wished the cultists ‘happy hunting’.

After cursing the dragonborn ranger, they decide to sleep in the same room for the rest of the journey and take turns keeping watch in case more attacks occur, but not before they check out the cargo that the cultists had with them.

Peren is dead and he had been a useful member of the team, so the remaining party members try their luck and search the cargo for diamonds that they could use to pay for a raise dead spell (hey, it’s worth a shot).

So off they go to rummage through the cultists’ loot and belongings…

Scene: Diamonds For Life

Scene Setup: The heroes rummage through the cargo on the off-chance they find some diamonds that can be used as material components for a raise dead spell.

Chaos Rank: 4

Roll to modify (1d10): 5 = Normal Scene

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More than enough to last the whole campaign... Artwork © By Kimmo Kaunela

More than enough to last the whole campaign…
Artwork © By Kimmo Kaunela

So the PCs rummage through the wagon that the cultists hauled around with them in order to see if their recent raids have turned up valuable material components.

Mythic Question: Do the cultists carry any diamonds in their wagon of treasure?

Chaos Rank: 4

Estimated Odds: No Way (10%)

Roll: 1 (Yes, that was the result of my roll…)

Result: An exceptional yes! A very lucky day for the PCs, given the evening they’ve just had.

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What do you know – after several minutes of searching the wagon, they do find some diamonds.

Not only did they find diamonds, but there are enough of them for a few castings of raise dead.

You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

So the remaining characters decide the next step was to find a priest who could bring Peren back to life once they reach Baldur’s Gate.

Before that, there was the small matter of Bumeshuu.

They decide to meet up with him and report to him what happened, but feign ignorance as to who was responsible for revealing the disguised party to the assassins.

There was also the option of attacking bumeshuu and then asking questions later, but I decided that I could find out a whole lot more if we use guile and stealth to track the movements of the cultists and Bumeshuu himself.

Scene: Confronting Bumeshuu

Scene Setup: The heroes leave their ship and meet up with Bumeshuu, who is surprised that the characters are still alive.

Chaos Rank: 3

Roll to modify (1d10): 8 = Normal Scene

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After a couple more days on the ship, they confront a surprised Bumeshuu and tell him what happened, as well as try to bluff him and make him believe they did not know who was responsible (due to the correspondence being thrown away).

They also tell the dragonborn ranger that plan to arrange for the funeral of Peren, so they’ll be away for at least a couple of days.

However, not only did he not buy their lies (very low Charisma (Deception) check), but the PCs themselves believe that Bumeshuu fell for their bluff due to a pitifully low Wisdom (Insight) check to gauge his reaction.

Bumeshuu then tells the characters he will meet up with them later after he has a chance to sort out a few things in the city and tells the characters to conduct whatever business they need before leaving the characters to their devices.

Scene: The Search For a Powerful Cleric

Scene Setup: The PCs begin the search for a powerful divine spellcaster living in Baldur’s Gate.

Chaos Rank: 4

Roll to modify (1d10): 6 = Normal Scene

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Bet you wished your cleric looked this awesome. Artwork © By Daniel Warren

That glare can only mean… you’ve been judged.
Artwork © By Daniel Warren

During their search for a powerful divine spellcaster in the city, the characters are wary of the possibility they may be followed by members of the Cult of the Dragon.

Drusilia asks Shui to keep an eye out.

Mythic Question: Are they being followed?

Chaos Rank: 4

Estimated Odds: Somewhat Likely (45%)

Result: Sure enough. Two rogues are following the party.

Roll: 26

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Shui turns round sees a pair of sketchy characters feigning innocence the moment she turns her head.

The party makes a turn into an alley, hoping to ambush their stalkers. There are no places to hide in the alley (after a quick Mythic Fate Chart roll), so they exit the alley and wait for the stalkers on the street.

As the stalkers turn the corner, the heroes confront them and ask them why they are following them (they were in a busy street and didn’t want to draw attention to themselves by starting a fight on the streets).

Mythic Question: Do they attack?

Chaos Rank: 4

Estimated Odds: 50/50 (35%)

Roll: 74

Result: They do not attack.

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Mythic Question: Do they flee?

Chaos Rank: 4

Estimated Odds: 50/50 (35%)

Roll: 32

Result: Indeed they do. Now exposed, they turn tail and run.

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They run for it, so the heroes attack and knock them out using their ranged weapons – in broad daylight.

Mythic Question: Do the bystanders react by calling the Flaming Fist?

Chaos Rank: 4

Estimated Odds: Likely (55%)

Roll: 95

Result: Exceptional No. Most people stand and stare, but choose not to involve themselves.

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However, not only did people not react to the little scuffle and call the Flaming Fist, the heroes end up impressing a bystander as we will soon find out.

Scene: Interrogating the Captives

Scene Setup: The PCs take the captives to one side for questioning.

Chaos Rank: 3

Roll to modify (1d10): 4 = Normal Scene

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Mythic Question: Were the cultists ordered to follow the party?

Chaos Rank: 3

Estimated Odds: Very Likely (65%)

Roll: 71

Result: No. They followed the PCs on their own. They wanted to take credit for capturing or killing the party.

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Spoiler

Chaos Rank: 3

Estimated Odds: Likely (50%)

Roll: 49

Result: Very much so. They were told by the cultist that they spared en-route to exploring the cultist camp near Greenest for the very first time.

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The PCs manage to scare the prisoners into spilling the beans and they learn that the cultists present in Baldur’s Gate now know they are here and will likely recognise the PCs on sight, based on the descriptions from a cultist that they previously spared.

So much for mercy…

A disguise was in order, then, but the only person in the party capable of making a convincing disguise was Peren, so the heroes needed him brought back to life and quite sharpish.

Scene: The Search For a Powerful Cleric II

Scene Setup: the party attempts to find a healer at the temple of Tymora.

Chaos Rank: 2.

Roll to modify (1d10): 1 = Altered Scene.

Alteration: Unsure, therefore Generate Random Event.

Random Event

Event Focus Roll (1d100): 73 = PC Positive: Natali the barbarian.

Event Meaning: Action Roll (1d100): 82 = Activity.

Event Meaning: Subject (1d100): 43 = Competition.

Logical Interpretation: Joyce knows Gunnar Thrume, the patriarch of the temple of Tymora and is willing to put in a good word for the party if they could perform for her.

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Screw the rules, scimitars are cool... Artwork © By Francis RP Navarro

Your DM won’t allow you to use that scimitar… but Mythic might.
Artwork © By Francis RP Navarro

After handing the prisoners to the Flaming Fist, they continue onwards to the temple of Tymora and speak to a halfling woman who calls herself Joyce Hiley.

Joyce is a priestess of Tymora who is on the lookout for talent to help her complete a mission on the church’s behalf.

Joyce was one of the bystanders in the party’s little scuffle against the cultists who were following them and was suitably impressed by the skill of the adventurers.

Out of the three characters ‘on show’, she has earmarked Natali as being the most capable physically out of everyone in the party.

However, she is still not entirely sure of her true capabilities and the efficiency in the way Natali dealt with the stalkers could simply be down to fate being in her favour (not to mention, the stalkers turning tail and fleeing the moment they were discovered – hardly a taxing contest).

So she decides to test Natali out by inviting her to compete in a series of contests that will commence today.

Should Natali perform well, Joyce offers to cover the cost of a raise dead spell.

She also has a little influence in the church, so the characters should feel confident in her ability to sway Gunnar Thrume’s disposition in the party’s favour – according to her.

Natali agrees to do this and passes the contests with flying colours.

She is not the strongest barbarian, but she is strong enough to win many wrestling contests.

However, she completely crushes a drinking contest and wins a race by a fair distance.

Totally convinced of Natali’s competence, Joyce does not delay the adventurers any longer and promptly leads them to an audience with Gunnar…

(Ideas for the scene taken from the Murder in Baldur’s Gate campaign guide.)

(Incidentally, this last scene mirrors the contests that Ontharr puts you through in the original plot and narrative of the adventure.)

Scene: Gunnar is Not in the Building…

Scene Setup: the party accompanies Joyce to the Church of Tymora in order to meet the patriarch.

Chaos Rank: 1.

Roll to modify (1d10): 1 = Altered Scene.

Alteration: Unsure, therefore Generate Random Event.

Random Event

Event Focus Roll (1d100): 39 = Move towards a thread.

Event Meaning: Action Roll (1d100): 38 = Inform.

Event Meaning: Subject (1d100): 93 = Weather.

Logical Interpretation: Upon entering the church, Joyce and the PCs are told by an acolyte that Gunnar has paid a visit to the Church of Umberlee (a goddess who has some control over certain aspects of weather).

Along the way, the PCs find themselves a step closer to knowing where the cult of the dragon will be headed…

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Just as they thought they were getting closer to their goal of getting Peren back, the PCs are told by an acolyte that Gunnar has left the temple.

It seems (and this is inspired by a side quest in the computer game, Baldur’s Gate) that the son of a friend of the patriarch is caught trying to steal from the temple of Umberlee, but failed and was killed.

Gunnar is in the process of trying to persuade the Umberlant clerics to turn the body over to him, but the clerics want something in return – something that Gunnar possesses and something that Gunnar is not willing to give up…

Joyce asks the PCs to go to the temple of Umberlee and see if they can help Gunnar in any way. If they are able to help, Gunnar would be sure to compensate them.

So they head to the Church of Umberlee and they spot some familiar faces upon reaching their destination – the cultists and their leader, Rezmir…

To be continued…

I hope this gives you a little taster of what you can expect from Mythic and what can be done when using it to play any pre-written adventure solo.

Mythic can take an adventure in a somewhat different direction, either randomly or as a result of your in-game decisions, while keeping the core plot of the story the same (i.e. the PCs meet someone who advises them to take a ship to Baldur’s Gate, the PCs getting a little closer to their quarry and figuring out who the cultists are, where they may be headed and of course, the contests, etc.).

This way, you are not necessarily stuck with simply reading an adventure, knowing what happens and forcing yourself to ‘feign surprise’ and roleplay around what you already know.

With Mythic, you can actually roleplay. For real.