So, since this summer I’ve been doing a D&D campaign based around Battleborn, and I thought that you guys here might be interested in hearing about it. I did this as an exercise in campaign writing (I was working on my own setting at the same time, but I had a terrible writer’s block) and also because my brothers and I are way into Battleborn, and they wanted to learn how to play D&D. So, I started writing and running numbers, until I had a pretty big Player’s Handbook and a nice little Monster Manual. It’s a game based in the 3.5 rules, but it uses different races (that I statted for this adventure), and implemented a few new mechanics, such as factions and guns. I could upload it, if people want to, but it’s still being updated as we speak, since I had some balancing and other issues, but it’s a lot of fun.
We started to play as soon as we could, and so we ended up playing with four people: my two brothers, one of my college friends, and me, as the DM. It was a pretty interesting party in the end. We had a Swordsage Varimorphic called Glorblurk that had a ridulous base land speed and a tendency to throw bombs on people. Glorblurk had previously been an LLC employee, but had been fired and went to the Rogues (and had a massive vendetta against Kleese). There was also Layra, the Kemessian Sorcerer/Bard. She had some human ancestry, and now worked for the LLC, probably as a diplomat of some sort, seeing the scores she had in her social skills. And then there was the Mikollopria Cleric Gunsin, who came to teach people their peaceful ways by force. They had met Thorn in the past (they met because they were both refugees from Eshteni), and she had taught them about Aelfrin lore, which made him become a cleric.
We’re going at a pretty slow pace, mostly because we can’t meet all that often due to conflicting schedules, but also because we’re all a bit easily distracted. I made a random encounter table for things that could happen aboard the Nova, and it’s proven to be very popular. Besides, it’s also just fun to explore the ship and interact with all of the characters.
Their first mission had been easy: find and escort Deande from Tempest to Nova. So, the three of them went to Tempest, and Layra diplomatised some Thrall guards into letting them pass. They did, and then found themselves attacked by a spider sentry at the place where they were supposed to meet Deande. Unfortunately, I had underestimated a bit how strong the party was (I still had a lot to learn about encounter levels…), and they killed the sentry before Deande could do anything useful, so she just kinda stood there. Anyhow, they sneak Deande out of Tempest, bring her to Nova, and Ghalt is happy so he gives the party some time off.
Except, ISIC happens. The party is summoned to go fight ISIC, and because the party is a bit small, I allow them to take some NPC Battleborn with them. Glorblurk brings Orendi along, and Gunsin convinces Thorn to come with them, and thus the party is complete. They go to Bliss, obliterate their way through a whole bunch of minions, and then collect the scrap metal because Layra wanted to use it to make minion bots for herself. Continuing, they fight against Geoff and manage to secure his personality core after his defeat, which they take with them. A bunch more minions are defeated (and one is kidnapped by Layra), until they finally defeat ISIC and bring his core back to the ship.
In the meantime, Glorburk has developed a habit of eating sunshards, with all kinds of weird consequences.
Then, a new player joins the group. She played Cordelia, the Helician Ranger who fought with two swords. She’s a UPR soldier, and had a pet hawk. She had left the Nova to go on a holiday on Ekkunar, and there she found some Jennerit spies doing research of some sort. The rest of the party is sent to Ekkunar because they had seen some suspicious behaviour around that place. So, they all end up on the same place, knock out the spies, and bring them back to Nova for interrogation. They find some interesting information, as well as book full of notes, but as no one in the party speaks Jennerit, they bring the notes to Rath to translate them.
At this point in time, they receive a distress call from Bliss. To make things a little bit more interactive (Battleborn works fine as a video game, but for a D&D party that just loves roleplaying it just needed some more interactive elements) the ship receives this call from Oscar Mike, who had been patrolling Bliss with Thorn and Phoebe, who had found themselves in the middle of the Varelsi incursion when the portal bloomed, and they’re now wounded and hiding in a cave. The party immediately goes to Bliss, while Kleese tells them to secure a landing pad for Wolf and the bomb.
They (almost) all end up dying. A friend of Glorblurk’s player had shown up, and had made Globlurk jump off a cliff, which he barely survived. The other continued their investigation, kill some Thrall, and then Gunsin opens a door that he shouldn’t have, as he’s alone and as the door opens, Thrall just start swarming him. The others come to him as soon as they can, but find themselves powerless. Gunsin falls, then Cordelia, and then Layra, who is running for her life, but the Thrall are quicker.
I felt super bad about all of this, and was also a bit panicking since this was an important mission, but the party takes it pretty well. Soon they’re making new characters, and because we’re doing a big D&D event, two other people join our party. Now we’ve got Clayda, the Helician Druid, who is focused on summoning animals, and works for the UPR. She has a dire crocodile as an animal companion, which she called Floofins (and it is afraid of stairs and hot chocolate). There is also Johnatan the Kemessian Marshall/Crusader/Knight, who is part of the LLC. He’s a pretty simple guy, but one with a strong code of honour and an AC higher than should be allowed. Thirdly we have Milea, the Mikollopria Ninja, who is a bit of a trickster and very stubborn. They’re part of the Eldrid faction. Then there is Frank “Wingman” Hawkins, the Aviant Ranger, who is bird puns incarnate. He’s a Hawk Aviant like Benedict, but Frank is Rogue-aligned and also the captain of a ship. Another Rogue bird is Kirra, the Aviant Bard. She’s a Magpie Aviant, and uses that to get out of trouble (“I’m sorry sir, I can’t help stealing those shiny things, it’s in my nature”) even though it’s not necessarily true. Lastly we have Sneaky Snek, who is, well, a sneaky snake. He’s a Dark Roa Marshall/Dragon Shaman, and very, very sneaky. He basically hides in places so he can project his buffing auras from there (and to throw nets at people. The memes are strong with this one). He lived on a rock for an unspecified amount of time, but he was found by Frank and Orendi, and now Snek is back to working for the Eldrid.
So, these characters get a moment to introduce themselves to each other (except for John and Clayda, who had already been on Bliss, and had seen the Varelsi rain from the sky), and then get sent to fix the mess the previous party left behind. Of course, they immediately take a liking to Wolf. Especially Kirra, who spent most of the session on Wolf’s back and talking to him (even while he was headbutting doors). She also did a badass rock solo while standing on Wolf’s head during the conservator battle. Because of this, they spent the entire session just wondering about how they could get the bomb in the portal without sacrificing Wolf. In the end, Clayda summoned a hippogriff to get the bomb in the portal, and Wolf lives, yay! Now Kirra wants to keep him as a companion and mount, and I think I’ll let her. Then the party goes and rescues Oscar Mike, Phoebe and Thorn, and John takes one finger from every person from the dead previous party, in the hopes of getting them revived on the ship.
And that’s pretty much where we were. We had a meeting this weekend, but not everyone could come (we were down two Aviants), so I tried to play through Attikus and the Thrall Rebellion with the remaining party members, but that didn’t really go as planned. The party ended up running around in the ship for a long time. Everyone except John found a secret minion bot rave room, where they taught minions how to dab. It was glorious. John spent most of his time in the bar, where he was giving Alani and Pendles life advice, and watched Oscar Mike fail miserably at getting a cup of hot chocolate (he had broken his leg in the Varelsi incursion, and was now ignoring doctor’s advice, so he kept on falling over).
But it mostly went awry because one of the players, Snek, ended up taking control of the simulation when I walked away for a moment, and then I let him stay there while I played Nova in the simulation (I used Snek’s stats, because Nova had, in a way, taken his place now), so it all became a little crazy. But I guess that’s what simulations are for. Besides, this game is already plenty crazy, and I love it. The silly things my players get up to are always the best parts of adventures