Sometimes a Farm is a Just a Farm

Posted by Vulpes Canidae on July 22, 2015

I had been playing D&D for almost twenty years and decided to introduce a group of my friends to the game so we could play it together.

Being the one with the most experience, I started as the DM. The first adventures were pretty straightforward dungeon crawls that went pretty much 'on rails'. The players got their chance to show initiative, but the story was pretty much set, and if they wandered in an unwanted direction I would gently nudge them in the direction I wanted them to go.

After they reached level five or so, I decided it was time to cut them loose and let them make their own story.

A previous adventure had just finished and the party was gathered back in town. To start a classic adventure, I introduced the town bulletin board with various adventure hooks.

A Mayor that wanted to get rid of a Goblin plague, an old castle with a Ghost problem, a sighting of a young Dragon, that kind of stuff.

But to make it more 'real' I had a few common notices as well. A Farmer that needed help with his land, a Blacksmith looking for an apprentice, and someone selling fresh cakes.

I naturally assumed they wanted to find the Dragon or look for Ghosts, but being accustomed to everything having a meaning, they interpreted everything as an adventure hook. So they decided to find out what was wrong with the Farmer looking for help.

Off they went to find out what was going on on that farm. After an uneventful trip to the farm, they met Farmer Harm who was really surprised to find such well-armoured people willing to help with his land. But a helping hand is always needed on a farm, so he decided to put them to work harvesting crops, milking the cows, and picking up the chicken eggs.

All along the players were scouting the area looking for trouble, checking the Farmer on his alignment, searching for hidden doors and traps and finding absolutely nothing.

This went on for most of the session. For good measure I decided to incorporate a lone fox trying to steal some chickens, which they killed in under a minute or so.

Which of course ended up in a discussion of a nearby fox town with possible Fox People... which was never found.

So at the end of the session they earned a few coppers from Farmer Harm for their good work.

They learned a valuable lesson that day: Sometimes a farm is just a farm.

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