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Altaria87
2016-12-11, 08:18 AM
So I'm starting a new campaign and the introductory quest is a large party at a noble's manor, and I'd like some help with ideas of some interesting stuff to happen there. The setting is a fairly standard medieval fantasy one (specifically in a nation based on Arthurian myths but ruled by Dragons), so I'm really looking for anything both magical and nonmagical which would be cool to see but also not overwhelming for level one characters.

My current things are:
-There are delegates from multiple rival nations here, at one point the host will have a meeting with them in a back room as they have some informal peace talks. Perhaps a player is hired by someone to spy on it?
-The host's wife is an illusionist, and is playing a game where there are five of her at the party, and if anyone can work out which is not illusionary they will get a private audience with her (but any failed guesses give her the right to one favour from the guesser)
-One of the two butlers is an agent for the local crime lord and is going to assassinate one of the other guests
-Two rival bards have been invited and about halfway through the night they see each other and have a dance-off (with potentially dangerous magical components)
-A local adventurer snuck in to the party since it'd be a nice place to sleep. When one of teh servants notices they have the right number of people but one invitee didn't come, they send a party member to find the (now drunk) home invader

So, what other cool and itneresting events/mini-quests can the playground suggest? :smallbiggrin:

Freed
2016-12-11, 10:06 AM
-A mystical fortune teller comes by, and spouts "predictions" that will turn the attendees against each other. The teller is secretly a kobold warpriest in disguise, trying to prevent humanoid nobles from working together against their dragon overlords.
I only have one for now....

Squiddish
2016-12-11, 11:06 AM
-The other butler is aware of most of this, and, knowing that he can't do much on his own, enlists the players to keep the peace.

Freed
2016-12-11, 01:29 PM
Expanding on squiddish's idea, What if they don't know which butler is corrupt, and which one is normal, and both butlers try to get rid of the other using the pcs?

Jomo
2016-12-11, 02:14 PM
Sounds to me like you already have a solid list of things going on for one party. If you add one more thing, the players aren't going to be able to stop the assassin, but I'd say that what you have right now is perfect.

Mark Hall
2016-12-12, 01:56 PM
In the Kushiel's Legacy series, there is a game whose name I cannot recall that seems rather nobleish to play... you take your drink, swirl it about in your glass, and attempt to fling the contents of your glass into a bowl. Slopping out, or dripping on the floor, causes you to lose.

It's the kind of thing that works well for rich nobles... it's wasteful of good drink, requires someone else to clean up, and rewards a relatively useless skill, while getting more and more impossible as you get drunker.

CovertCobalt
2016-12-12, 06:03 PM
One of the party-guests, a young minor nobleman/woman, approaches a party-member and offers them a fair amount of gold in exchange for pretending to be their date. The noble is trying to avoid the attentions of a particularly annoying and aggressive suitor, who will challenge the PC to a duel if the PC is found on the noble's arm.

Honest Tiefling
2016-12-12, 08:26 PM
I have no idea if this is true (and it probably isn't) but I did hear of a Polish noble trying to show off to his friends by riding into a party with a sleigh on sugar. Given how expensive sugar was at the time, well...

So don't rely on magic -entirely-. Think of the most ostentatious, ridiculous, pointless display of wealth you can. Let's add bears in sequinned dresses! Wine fountains with elvish wine imported by Pegasus! Live birds in hair, why the heck not? And perhaps this court has decided on the fashion of having exotic people as retainers, so why not a court elf or gensai? Maybe even a court Fey. Jugglers with fire is also a good choice, maybe add some fireworks.

This wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastian_Pagez#Bastian.27s_wedding_masque)might inspire you as well, since it is a probably true account of the crazy stuff nobles did.

Sure, it might just add flavor, but it could also go horribly wrong, so people are running away from panicked bears fleeing a flaming fountain of wine. If your players are the type, perhaps the thing that goes wrong is them, especially if a noble pays them money to wreck the event...They'll get pretty creative with disasters. Never doubt the destructive power of your players!

Another event to happen is a duel. Except in this culture they don't go outside, they do it right then and there. On the table, wrecking food because the servants can just bring out a few more giant pigs, right? Who cares!

THEChanger
2016-12-13, 12:23 PM
One of the guests is an emissary from one of the Faerie Courts in magical disguise. Not because of anything sinister, but because among the Fae it is considered exceedingly impolite to show one's true face to any but your most intimate friends and family. Everyone of importance is aware of the emissary's presence...but if the PCs detect a magically disguised guest, they might start an international incident. Bonus points if they catch wind of the assassin, and then accuse the Fae of being involved in the plot. Hope one of your PCs has Know: Nobility. Or Nature. Further bonus points if the assassin is actually magically disguised as well.

Joe the Rat
2016-12-13, 02:18 PM
Unfortunately I don't have much to add for you, as I am working on a similar event - and will be stealing ideas from here to fill in some gaps.

But here's a couple of morsels I've got...

- Two of the guests are having a secret affair/relationship, and arrange a brief rendezvous amidst the activity. This could be a matter of station or situation - noble vs common, species involved, one side is married, etc.
- A lot of deals and power plays. While preening and posing and generally being nobles, alliances and arrangements are being formed. Depending on the role of your PCs, they could be witnesses, or brought into deals, or have plot hooks thrown at them.
- A recounting of the year/time since he last such gathering. Drop some setting info on 'em if they listen, or note this is happening while they scurry off to look at more surreptitious doings.
- An eccentric or exotic choice of doorman. Unusual race, a magician or animated suit of armor, etc. My go-to is a monovocabularic Ogre with a ruff ("Door!"), but that might be too soon for some folks.
- Something to kickstart an adventure - theft of a valuable item or dangerous artifact, but you probably already have your plot threads in line.
- Animated trophy animals.

dps
2016-12-13, 08:47 PM
At some random point during the festivities, a horde of (perfectly mundane) monkeys slip into the main banquet hall through an open window, and proceed to wreck havoc--stealing food off the tables, spilling wine, breaking servicewear, flinging poo, and generally being a huge disruption. Make sure that some of the PC nobles are upset, some terrified, and some angry about this course of events.

(Mostly shamelessly stolen from the strategy game Crusader Kings II.)

Freed
2016-12-14, 06:43 PM
A PC is made king of a nation no one has heard, but nobody wants to offend him by questioning his authority in fear of retaliation. In the end, it's a trick by a noble who wants to execute a king to prove his might.

Roan_Spence
2016-12-14, 07:57 PM
In the Kushiel's Legacy series, there is a game whose name I cannot recall that seems rather nobleish to play... you take your drink, swirl it about in your glass, and attempt to fling the contents of your glass into a bowl. Slopping out, or dripping on the floor, causes you to lose.

It's the kind of thing that works well for rich nobles... it's wasteful of good drink, requires someone else to clean up, and rewards a relatively useless skill, while getting more and more impossible as you get drunker.

Well first off, it always makes me happy to find another Kushiel's Legacy reader. :D Let me get that out of the way.

Another option is at the party the Noble hear's that a famous swordsman is at the party and wants him to demonstrate his skills for the crowd. This would give any martial character a change to do a kind of fightin tutorial and you can have this swordsman just go easy on them and let them test their bladework a bit. Could also be an excuse to give your martial character some kind of weapon as a gift.

Perhaps borrowing from that spy idea you might have the party have to root out another spy who's at the party.